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City bond election

ElPasoSpeak - Sun, 08/11/2019 - 5:00am

The city seems to have decided to only include police and fire requests in the upcoming bond election.

It looks like the issue will be put on the ballot as a single item (take it or leave it) totaling $413 million.

The item will be on the November ballot.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

RumpToons No: 145

EPN - Border Analysis - Sat, 08/10/2019 - 10:00pm
This is America under Donald Trump.
Categories: Local Blogs

El Paso native reflects on mass shooting from Austin

Borderzine - Sat, 08/10/2019 - 1:49pm

It seemed incomprehensible at first to understand or express my thoughts and emotions after last week’s mass shooting at the Walmart new Cielo Vista Mall. Now that a few days have passed and we can reflect on what’s happened.

 I was washing dishes in my Austin home the morning of Aug. 3 when my boyfriend texted me. He sent me a screen shot from Twitter, soon followed by a CNN alert: “Police … El Paso… Cielo Vista Mall … active shooter … lockdown.”

He asked me if my family lived in that area – they don’t. I immediately sent a group text to my loved ones to make sure they were safe. None of them were in the area and all were safely at home. However, my relief quickly turned to horror as details emerged.

The next few hours were nothing short of a nightmare as I anxiously scrolled through social media and watched the national news outlets.

Pain set in as additional details unfolded —a lone white gunman, 20 Hispanic victims, six from nearby Ciudad Juarez; about two dozen injured men, women and children at the busy Walmart near the city’s largest mall; an anti-immigrant manifesto released by the suspect on a social media web site.

 I muted the TV and sobbed into my hands. I felt as if I had been violated; as if my hometown and all my Hispanic brothers and sisters across the nation had been violated. I was angry and I felt helpless. I wasn’t just watching breaking news anymore; I was watching terror unfold in my hometown.

 

Grief Comes in Waves

Day two after the shooting was the hardest. The victims’ names were being released, photos were appearing on news channels and social media, and interviews with the victims’ families were airing. The faces of the innocent people who lost their lives flashed through my head like jump cuts in a film. I didn’t know any of them personally, but they might as well have been my abuelo, my tia, my prima, mi hermano. Tears welled up and rolled down my cheeks in waves. I would regain my composure for a minute or two. Then my chest would begin to heave as I wept again, asking myself “Why hurt my people? Why El Paso?”

I later watched CNN’s Anderson Cooper interview Octavio Lizarde, a victim shot while inside the bank at the retailer. His nephew, Javier Amir Rodriguez, was killed. Lizarde said he was opening an account to cash his paycheck, and went to the to buy clothes and shoes. As he stood in line, the gunman walked in and opened fire. The power of that image brought me to my knees – the injustice. I then prayed for some sort of hope to emerge from these ashes of hatred.

 

El Paso is United

Since the shooting, the news has been filled with more gruesome, horrendous details of the mass shooting at the hands of a young white man from Allen, Texas, who posted a white supremacist diatribe shortly before opening fire. I’ve seen the political articles flood my news feeds since the shooting, but they pale in comparison to the many stories I’ve heard and read centering around how El Pasoans are uniting to care of one another. El Pasoans watch over each other; it’s what we do and who we are. 

Blood donation centers were packed. People brought water bottles to those waiting in line to give blood. Crosses were placed along the fence of Walmart as the names of the now 22 victims were released. Vigils were held with hundreds of people gathering to mourn and remember those who lost their lives. GoFundMe accounts surpassed their goals by thousands of dollars to take care of the expenses for victims’ families Over and over, the resounding message was something like, “This is my El Paso. This is what we do. We are united. We’re familia.” It is true.

 

What Makes Us Strong

The thread I’ve seen woven throughout each interview and story is forgiveness. Some family members of the victims have said: “We forgive (the shooter). We don’t hate him.”

Or, in Lizarde’s words: “If God was able to forgive. . . then I forgive as well.” This is what makes the people of El Paso unique—they do not repay evil for evil. Instead, they forgive. Even as they mourn, they forgive.

What happened that Saturday morning was atrocious — there are no words to describe the evil that took place. I’m still heartbroken, angry and confused. But we are not without hope and we are not without strength. I think the way forward has already been shown to us by these brave men, women, and families who are still grieving. To me, they are an example of resilience, love, and all that is good in the face of adversity. 

This is what I believe, El Paso — the shooting is not what makes you. Your love, unity, forgiveness, bravery, and strength are what you are and will continue to be known for. Let’s press on to find hope. Let’s grieve together. Let’s heal together. Let’s be #ElPasoStrong. 

Click hear to read El Paso native reflects on mass shooting from Austin

Categories: Local Blogs

Open line Saturday

ElPasoSpeak - Sat, 08/10/2019 - 5:00am

What should we be talking about today?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Moody Blues

Max Powers - Fri, 08/09/2019 - 6:48am
Mr. Joe Moody passed up a chance to become DA in order to do bigger and better things in Austin. But man how much his world has changed since then. His boss, the current Republican Speaker of the House, is in some serious hot water. There is the allegation about... Max Powers
Categories: Local Blogs

How much can we afford?

ElPasoSpeak - Fri, 08/09/2019 - 5:00am

Next year’s city tax rate looks like it will be 90.73 cents per hundred dollars of valuation.

That works out to just about 1% of the value of your property.

Of the 90.73 cents 61 cents will go to maintenance and operations.

The amount that we will have to pay to cover past bond issues and other debt will be 29.7 cents.

That means that 32.7 percent of the money we pay in property taxes will go to debt service.

These numbers don’t include the cost of the multi-purpose performing arts center or the cultural center which we have already approved.

I wonder how many of us spend 32.7 percent of our income on our home mortgages.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

What Will Walmart Do?

EPN - Border Analysis - Thu, 08/08/2019 - 10:00pm
Walmart has a choice to make. It needs to decide what to do with the store where 22 […]
Categories: Local Blogs

Bonds have to be paid for

ElPasoSpeak - Thu, 08/08/2019 - 5:53am

The proposed 2020 city budget includes $61.5 million dollars for principal payments on bonds that were sold in the past.

Can you imagine what it will be if the voters pass the almost one billion dollars in bond money that the city wants?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

The Personification of a Coward

EPN - Border Analysis - Wed, 08/07/2019 - 10:00pm
The individual – who has no right to be referred by their name – personifies the very definition […]
Categories: Local Blogs

Another unneeded opinion on the act of terror

Refuse the Juice - Wed, 08/07/2019 - 11:27am
I didn't want to say anything about this at all. I especially didn't want to say anything in the immediate hours and days after a terrorist gunned down innocent people in an act of cowardice driven by idiotic racist beliefs.... Brad Kanus
Categories: Local Blogs

What Now

Max Powers - Wed, 08/07/2019 - 6:39am
Up until Saturday around noon, things seemed hopeless for Beto. But a tragedy occurred. And once again, it is the Beto show. Is that right? Is that wrong? I do not know. It what it is. But do not kid yourself. Any person that became president had to do things... Max Powers
Categories: Local Blogs

Heal thyself

ElPasoSpeak - Wed, 08/07/2019 - 5:00am

Item 27.3 on the Tuesday, August 6, 2019 city council agenda is:

Discussion and action on directing the City Manager to conduct training on Ethics, the Code of Conduct, and Robert’s Rules of Order.

The item was placed on the agenda by our mayor.

I wonder if he will receive any of the training.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Trump Not Welcome in El Paso

EPN - Border Analysis - Tue, 08/06/2019 - 10:00pm
(I edited this post on 07aug19 at 10:46ET to correct a term I should not have used.) So, […]
Categories: Local Blogs

From across the globe to El Paso, changes in the language of the far-right explain its current violence

Borderzine - Tue, 08/06/2019 - 3:39pm

By Arie Perliger, University of Massachusetts Lowell

The recent shooting attack in which a young white man is accused of killing 22 people in a Walmart in El Paso fits a new trend among perpetrators of far-right violence: They want the world to know why they did it.

So they provide a comprehensive ideological manifesto that aims to explain the reasoning behind their actions as well as to encourage others to follow in their steps.

In the past, only leaders of far-right groups did this. Now, it’s common among lone-wolf perpetrators, such as the alleged perpetrator in El Paso.

In the past decade, the language of white supremacists has transformed in important ways. It crossed national borders, broadened its focus and has been influenced by current mainstream political discourse.

I study political violence and extremism. In my recent research, I have identified these changes and believe that they can provide important insights into the current landscape of the American and European violent far-right.

The changes also allow us to understand how the violent far-right mobilizes support, shapes political perceptions and eventually advances their objectives.

Vigil on Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, for the fallen in the El Paso Walmart shooting on Saturday. Photo by Kate Gannon, Borderzine.com

New identity crosses borders

Since the early stages of the American white supremacy movement in the mid-19th century, the movement has always emphasized the superiority of Western culture and the need for segregation between racial groups in order to maintain the purity and dominance of the white race.

For example, in the 1980s, a Ku Klux Klan affiliate published a map allocating specific parts of the U.S. to specific ethnic communities. The map makers imagined Jews limited to the New York area, while Hispanics were to live in Florida.

But recently, a growing number of far-right activists have preferred to focus on cultural and social differences between communities, rather than on attributes such as race and ethnic origin.

They justify their violence as a way to preserve certain cultural-religious practices, rather than relying on their old justification – maintaining the genetic purity of the white race. In these activists’ view, the battle has moved from genes to culture.

For example, a member of the National Socialist Movement, an American neo-Nazi organization, wrote in a 2018 online post that white American is an identity like African American or Jewish American. In a statement that probably wouldn’t have been made by previous generations of neo-Nazis, the member wrote that all whites should come together, using their knowledge and weapons, to stop non-Europeans from pushing their secular agenda via government and media power.

Countering liberal left’s cultural influence

Another traditional theme of the far-right discourse – preserving the patriarchal order from attacks from the left – has grown in prominence.

Andres Breivik, who killed 77 people and injured more than 300 in July 2011 in Europe’s most lethal act of white supremacism, issued a manifesto shortly before his rampage.

In it, he stated that the politically correct terminology which is becoming more prevalent in the West intends to “deny the intrinsic worth of native Christian European heterosexual males” who were reduced to an “emasculate[d]… touchy-feely subspecies.”

Such sentiments are becoming more prevalent in the white supremacist forums, and reflect another component of what they perceived as an ongoing cultural war to preserve the white Christian way of life.

New transnational culture

The declining emphasis by the far-right on nationalism has led to the adoption of a transnational identity based on race, culture and religion.

Simply put, they feel closer to whites in other countries than non-whites who live in their neighborhood.

This explains why we have seen a global spread of violent white nationalism in recent years as the far-right finds kinship with like-minded nationalists in other countries.

Racial identity was always a prime component in the identity of far-right activists, but it was usually framed by local politics. In the past, racist British skinheads focused mainly on what they perceived as the interests of the British white working class. Today the rhetoric of most skinheads focuses on international geopolitics, although local issues haven’t been abandoned.

The attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which an Australian white supremacist killed 51 Muslim worshippers in a mosque on March 15, 2019, reflects that far-right activists seem to increasingly embrace a regional, if not global, perspective in the way they define their constituencies and the threats they are facing.

The Christchurch attacker’s manifesto was clearly inspired by far-right rhetoric from European and American groups, such as notions of “white genocide.” He specifically mentions Norway’s Breivik as a role model.

Legitimizing far-right ideology in the US

In the U.S., what’s different about the current rhetoric of the far-right is that they are now using terminology that can also be found in some mainstream political parties and movements, aiding their efforts to gain popular legitimacy.

For example, the United Northern and Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan released a new set of organizational goals a couple of years ago. Beyond their longstanding, bedrock belief – the protection of the white race – they also declare support for restricting immigration and free trade and ending or limiting foreign aid. They want government to provide protection to small businesses, agricultural workers and gun owners.

This broad ideological shift also spilled over to some far-right skinhead organizations. Volksfront, for example, declares in its online mission statement that beyond white nationalism, the organization will fight for economic issues, states’ rights, crime repression and labor rights.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s language about the need to restore order to the streets of America, as expressed in his inaugural address, is also evident in the language of American white supremacists. In a poster produced by the skinhead group Keystone United, they call for harsher punishments for drug dealers.

The demand for stricter punishment of criminals is echoed in many racist group platforms. These include support of death penalty expansion, an important point of discussion mainly in skinhead message boards, and levying harsher punishments for sexual offenses.

Since minorities are overrepresented among American incarcerated population, far-right activists see these criminal justice policies as a more “legitimate” way to “punish” members of minority groups.

Two future trends

These changes in the discourse of the far-right suggest two important trends.

The first is the growth in the international nature of far-right violence, posing a challenge to law enforcement across borders.

Second, the growing overlap between the language of the far-right and the rhetoric of elected officials illustrates how the current polarization in the political system, and delegitimization of minorities by political leaders, can provide legitimacy for radical practices and violence and broader acceptance of ideas, concepts and statements that in the past were the domain of the far-right.

I fear these dynamics are likely to encourage additional far-right activists to express their views via violence. The emerging evidence that the El Paso shooter was inspired by popular theories in the far-right rhetorical universe, such as that of the “great replacement,” is a clear warning sign.

[ Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter. ]

Arie Perliger, Director of Security Studies and Professor, University of Massachusetts Lowell

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Click hear to read From across the globe to El Paso, changes in the language of the far-right explain its current violence

Categories: Local Blogs

El Paso Responds

Max Powers - Tue, 08/06/2019 - 3:02pm
Employees @FtBlissExchange told me today they’ve seen a steady stream of people purchasing guns and/or ammo over the past 2 days in wake of Saturday morning’s massacre at an El Paso Walmart. One longtime gun department employee said he’s never seen anything like it @epheraldpost pic.twitter.com/BRxa3HQ2Ly — Darren Hunt (@dhuntreporter)... Max Powers
Categories: Local Blogs

Maximum tax increase from the city

ElPasoSpeak - Tue, 08/06/2019 - 5:00am

In Sleight of hand we discussed the fact that city council voted to set next year’s tax rate at 88 cents per hundred dollars of valuation.

The next day they published in the Times a different rate of 90.73 cents which is the maximum allowable without triggering our opportunity to call a roll back election.

Today’s (Tuesday, August 6, 2019) city council agenda includes the first of two required public hearings before raising the tax rate.

How much are they asking for?

If you guessed 90.73 cents you are correct.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Stop Making El Paso About Gun Control

EPN - Border Analysis - Mon, 08/05/2019 - 10:00pm
Gun control is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. There are many homicides committed by gun […]
Categories: Local Blogs

Another hidden tax increase

ElPasoSpeak - Mon, 08/05/2019 - 5:00am

The 2020 city proposed city budget proposes an raising the environmental services department (garbage) fees from $74.1 million to $91.3 million.

Get ready for your garbage bill to go up.

This is just another tax increase.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Donald Trump Is To Blame For El Paso

EPN - Border Analysis - Sun, 08/04/2019 - 10:00pm
On Saturday at least 20 people were murdered by a terrorist. The terrorist drove over nine miles from […]
Categories: Local Blogs

Yesterday

ElPasoSpeak - Sun, 08/04/2019 - 9:01am

I don’t know what to say.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs
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by Dr. Radut